True Crime Blog Tour: Gary C. King

My name is Gary C. King, and I’m a true crime author. Over the years, people have often asked me how I became a writer, why I became a writer, and how I happened to land in the genre of true crime. The answers to the first and third questions are simply that it was an accident, and the answer to the second question was simply that I did not want to work for someone else for a living, and it took me 27 years to arrive at a solution to that dilemma. I’ll elaborate a bit.

Unlike Ann Rule, I don’t have a background in law enforcement, i.e., I didn’t walk a beat in Seattle for a time before deciding to begin writing. The only thing that comes close to a background in law enforcement for me is that one of my brothers, just out of college, decided he wanted to be a cop. His career as a police officer, however, was short-lived. After a few months of being on the force, he responded to a dead body call. When he arrived with his partner, they found a nude, decomposing female lying face down on the floor. When the coroner’s office team
arrived and attempted to lift the body, the woman’s breasts—stuck to the floor from bodily fluids that had leaked out—pulled loose from her body. It wasn’t long before my brother left the force and decided to become a lawyer, but his description of his experience that day always remained with me and was, perhaps, one of the first such incidents I’d heard about and it never left. I was about 14 at the time.

Having been an avid reader during adolescence, I’d read all the James Bond books that Ian Fleming had published before I was 16, along with numerous Agatha Christie mysteries, Edgar Allan Poe stories and poems, Helen MacInnes novels, and many other wonderful authors too numerous to mention here. I had decided early on that I wanted to be a writer, but I never brought the dream to fruition for nearly another decade.

It wasn’t until I was 25 that a friend of mine at the time, who also held aspirations to become a writer, suggested the detective magazines to me. He had written to the editors at True Detective, obtained a sample copy of the magazine and their writer guidelines, but quickly decided it wasn’t for him. Aware of my love for fictional mysteries, he passed the materials along to me and I quickly decided, “I can do this!” Although the stories that True Detective and its affiliated magazines published were true and not fiction, it seemed like a good fit at the time.

It took me six weeks to research and write my first story. There was a case about two young girls in Ashland, Oregon who had been brutally murdered by a man named Manuel Cortez. Partly because I couldn’t fathom how or why someone could do such a thing, I decided to tackle the case and write the story. When it was finished, I sent it in to True Detective “over the transom,” so-to-speak, without querying the editors first, and fortunately for me it turned out that no one else had written about the case to them. They loved the story, and two weeks later I received a letter stating as much, along with a check for $250 and a stack of their standard query forms. They wanted more from me, and the rest, of course, is history. They titled that first story, “Tortured by the Sadist in the Press Box!” Some 400 stories and 15 years later, True Detective, after more than 70 years in business, ceased publication. By then, thankfully, I had transitioned into book writing and had been published by Penguin USA (and later other of the “Big 6” publishers, including St. Martin’s Press), and therefore wasn’t out of business, too.

However, writing for “Big 6” publishers was not sufficient enough to make a decent living for me and my family. I could never reach the lofty heights of, say, James Patterson or Dan Brown, though that would have been nice. As a result, I held numerous J-O-Bs over the years, including working for the federal government. Nothing I did with regard to a J-O-B was satisfying, so I kept writing, usually at night and on weekends. In retrospect I don’t know how I did it, working like a dog day and night, but I guess I did it because I knew I had to. During my last 10 years in the workforce I was employed as the executive assistant to the vice president of a medium-sized West Coast landscape company. That J-O-B paid well, and I halfway enjoyed the work as I was required to do a lot of the company’s written materials. It wasn’t until I was laid off due to the company’s financial struggle to survive in an ever-weakening economy that I realized I was in trouble. I had to do something, and fast. Writing came to the forefront, again.

Since I own the electronic rights to several of my earliest books, I decided I’d publish them myself. Within no time at all, I knew that becoming an “Indie” author was the answer. The books have consistently sold well, and I knew that this was the best answer I could come up with on short notice after being permanently laid off—and encountering health issues that made meeting deadlines impossible.

So far, I couldn’t be happier as an indie. I’ve taken steps that have improved my health issues (and, admittedly, that has been a tough nut to crack), and I’m now doing what I had so often dreamed of doing when I was young man. In retrospect, I wish it could have all happened sooner.

That is my story in a nutshell. I hope you have enjoyed it, and I hope that it provides a touch of inspiration for those attracted to the profession of writing. If you are interested in learning more about me and my work, please consider visiting my website: http://www.garycking.com. You can also connect with me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Gary.C.King and on Twitter (I’m somewhat of a Twitter fanatic, a “tweeting” fool, I’ve been told), http://www.twitter.com/Gary_C_King.

Liebser Award

I have been awarded the Liebster Blog Award from the very kind Kelly of Woman Condemned blog.

Liebster is a German word that translates to; dearest, beloved or in this case favorite. The idea of the Liebster Award is to give it to an up and coming blog with fewer than 200 followers. – in order to create new connections, and bring attention to their wonderful blogs.

When you win the award there a few details that need to be attended to:

1. Thank the Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog – Thank you Kelly!!

2. Link back to the blogger who presented you the award. Woman Condemened

3. Copy and paste the Liebster Blog Award on your blog.

4. Present the award to up to 5 bloggers who have a following 200 or less, who you feel deserve it.

5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog.

I have chosen the following blogs:
1. Bad Breeders One of my favorite blogs!

2. No Body Murder Blog

3. Kidnapping, Murder and Mayhem

I love all three of these blogs and visit them regularly.

Thanks again to Kelly and everyone who made this fun honor possible for me.

TGIF! Updates and more!

autumn road
Isn’t this a great Autumn picture?)

Good morning everyone! Today and thru Monday I am trying really hard to update posts and stories here. So, if you know of any past post that has bad links or needs the story updated, please tell me! I am trying to get to as much as possible, but I know I won’t finish. But if I know ones that need priority, they will be done first!

This month’s theme/cases of the month has been Child Abuse Homicide. Unfortunately there is never a shortage of these to report on. However, if you know of one that I have not posted on yet, please tell me and I will. These children need justice and need to be remembered. (Actually, if you know of any stories that fit my blog that I have not posted, let me know!  Tips are greatly appreciated!)

Remember ALL victims, not just high profile cases. All victims should be remembered for their lives. We are all worth being remembered.

A Blog Review: Due Recognition For Crime & Victims

Well, this morning I received this link to a review of my blog. If you want, take a minute to read it. It has made me feel good about the work I have put into my blog.

Thanks Mary!

A Blog Review: Due Recognition For Crime & Victims

ICB Detective Award Nominees 2009

The Blog: In Cold Blog announced the voting for the ICB Detective Awards. I encourage everyone to visit the link and vote. There are so many worthy recipients, from true crime blooks, articles, blog and bloggers. Amazingly, in my opinion, I made the final list on one of the categories. So, thank you to all who have voted for me or put me on that list. I am in shock, to be honest. But I appreciate all of you!

ICB Detective Award Nominees 2009

ICB Detective Awards – Best of 2008 in True Crime

For the second year in a row, I, along with many of my true crime bloggers, have been nominated for some blogging awards. There are so many great nominations too! Check it out here:

ICB Detective Awards – Best of 2008 in True Crime

In Cold Blog: ICB Detective Award Winners

The winners were announced yesterday and they are all great! I encourage everyone to check them out.

Winners!

And I hope that everyone has checked out the blogs that were nominated as they were all deserving. You will be hearing more about them here!

Some new things here!

I am trying to ‘spice’ things up here a bit. Well, I actually have been working on some of it for a bit, but have not kept up really well. I am trying to keep up on my sidebars, including the This Day in Crime History, current trials, sentencings, etc. I will also now be telling you about other crime sites and crime blogs that I enjoy. I want to share some of the sites I enjoy and read regularly. I will also be doing some Breaking News posts, keeping you up to date on stories when I see the news, even if I have not posted on the events previously.

Last Day to Vote for Crime Blog Awards (by 3pm EST)

Today is the last day to vote in the Crime Blogging polls posted by In Cold Blog. There are many different categories to vote in and everyone deserves to win (but of course, not all will win!)

ICB Detective Awards
[Corey had to change the name of the awards due to the fact that there was already one named Capote]

Blog Award Nomination (new link included)

Corey Mitchell, author and owner of In Cold Blog announced the nominations for the In Cold Blog Capote Awards. There are several different polls you can vote in and all deserve the honor. If go there to vote, you will see that most of the blogs (if not all) are on my blogroll and I read them often. All are very talented. So please go and vote for your favorite! Click here to go to the voting.

OK, now, the best part (in my very humble opinion) is that my blog is up for one of the awards. I am floored that someone even nominated me! It was probably my sister! But, whoever it was, thanks! It made my day! Even though I will probably not win, as the others on the list are such great bloggers! I would have a hard time choosing a winner in any of the categories! But, a huge heartfelt thanks goes out to all of my readers. I do appreciate you all. When I started this, I never thought anyone would read it at all.

Here is the link to the category I am up for:

BEST TRUE CRIME BLOG OF 2007

Best True Crime Blog of 2007
1947 Project
Bonnie’s Blog of Crime
CLEWS
Crime Rant
Homicide Report, The
In Cold Blog
Lost in Lima Ohio
Malefactor’s Register
Parents Behaving Badly
True Crime Weblog
pollcode.com free polls

You can vote everyday and there are several categoris, and every nominee is deserving. I have voted everyday myself and wish everyone could win!

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